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2013 State & Federal Programs for Older Adults: Free resource guide to seniors and/or their caregivers. This guide comes complete with information on elder rights, employment programs, financial assistance, healthcare, home care, housing options, and more.

Benefits Check-Up: Free tool accessible at www.benefitscheckup.org. By answering a few questions about yourself and your health care needs, you can find out if you are taking advantage of all of the benefits that you are eligible for, including nutrition and prescription drug assistance.

Circuit Breaker: The Circuit Breaker program assists seniors and disabled individuals in Illinois with their property taxes, rent, and transportation. To qualify, you must be an Illinois resident 65 years of age or older (or a disabled Illinois resident age 16 or older) AND have a yearly income below: $27,610 for a one-person household; $36,635 for a two-person household; $45,657 for a three- or more person household. If you would like an application, let us know and we will be happy to send one to you. For more information, you may call the Circuit Breaker hotline at 1-800-624-2459 or visit the website.

Medical Assistance: Assistance available through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for individuals aged 65 or older. Individuals may also qualify for food benefits. You can apply online, by mailing in an application, or by visiting your local Illinois Department of Human Services office.

Property Tax Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption: This exemption allows senior citizens who have a total household maximum income of less than $55,000, and meet certain other qualifications to elect to maintain the EAV of their homes at the base year EAV and prevent any increase in that value due to inflation. The amount of the exemption benefit is determined each year based on (1) the property’s current EAV minus the frozen base year value (the property’s prior year’s EAV for which the applicant first qualifies for the exemption), and (2) the applicant’s total household maximum income limitation. Each year applicants must file Form PTAX-340, Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit, with the chief county assessment office. More information, including eligibility requirements and applications, can be obtained through the Cook County Assessor’s office at 118 North Clark #320. You can also access this information online or by calling 312-443-7550.

Property Tax Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption: This annual exemption is available for residential property that is occupied as the principal residence of a person, who is 65 years of age or older during the assessment year. The person must be the owner or a lessee with an ownership interest in the property with a single-family residence, who is liable for the payment of the property taxes. The amount of the exemption is a $4,000 reduction in the EAV of the property. Filing requirements vary by county; some counties require an initial application, Form PTAX-324, Application for Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, or an annual renewal application, Form PTAX-329, Certificate of Status – Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, to be filed with the Chief County Assessment Office. Cook County residents must file each year for the exemption. More information, including eligibility requirements and applications, can be obtained through the Cook County Assessor’s office at 118 North Clark #320. You can also access this information online or by calling 312-443-7550.

Property Tax Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program: This program allows persons 65 years of age and older, who have a total household income of less than $50,000 and meet certain other qualifications, to defer all or part of the real estate taxes and special assessments on their principal residences. The deferral is similar to a loan against the property’s market value. A lien is filed on the property in order to ensure repayment of the deferral. The state pays the property taxes and then recovers the money, plus 6 percent annual interest, when the property is sold or transferred. The deferral must be repaid within one year of the taxpayer’s death or 90 days after the property ceases to qualify for this program. The maximum amount that can be deferred, including interest and lien fees, is 80 percent of the taxpayer’s equity interest in the property.  To receive the necessary forms or for further information on the program contact the Cook County Treasurer’s office at 312-443-5100 or online.

Senior Health Assistance Program (SHAP): Free service to help seniors complete applications for prescription drug assistance, including the Illinois Rx Buying Club and Medicare Part D. SHAP staff is available at the following locations near the 12th District:

Chicago Department of Senior Services – City Hall Room 100
121 North LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60602
312.744.4016

Chicago Department of Senior Services – Northeast (Levy) Senior Center 2019 West Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60625
312.744.0784

Chicago Department of Senior Services – North Area Center
4740 North Sheridan
Chicago, IL 60640
312.744.2580

Chicago Department of Senior Services – Northwest (Copernicus) Senior Center
3160 North Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60618
312.744.6681

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP): Free health insurance counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. Counselors can answer questions about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare plans, prescription drug coverage (including Medicare and Extra Help from Social Security), long-term care insurance, Medicare claims and appeals, and Medicare beneficiary rights. Many local hospitals and senior centers have SHIP counselors available. Call 800.548.9034 or visit www.insurance.illinois.gov/ship for more information.

Weiss Memorial Hospital’s WISE Senior Program: Local senior citizens can take advantage of educational, social, and wellness programs including free seminars, support groups, exercise closes, and opportunities for free health screenings. Contact Weiss Memorial Hospital at 773.564.5666 or visit the senior center at 4646 North Marine to enroll.

4646 North Marine
First Floor, C Elevator
Chicago, IL 60640
773.564.5666
www.weisshospital.com/medical-services/clinical-programs/senior/wise-program.aspx

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